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Test Gun: Smith and Wesson model 65. Barrel length: 3 inches.
Ammunition: Liberty’s .357 Magnum 50gr Civil Defense.
Test media: 10% Clear Ballistics Gel. Distance: 10 feet.
Chronograph: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph G2.
Five shot velocity average: fps 1796fps
Gel Temperature 70 degrees.

This is an interesting round that consists of 50gr all copper bullet with a large hollow point. The idea was the bullet would fragment early upon entering the target. The hollow part of the bullet breaks off into smaller pieces and radiates away from the main path of the bullet core which would then driver deeper in the target.

Using the S&W M65 I got an average velocity of 1796fps with a high of 1860 and a low of 1746fps. Liberty list this load’s velocity of this round at 2100fps but doesn’t list a barrel length. The point of impact was about 3 inches low at 10 yards.


Five round offhand at 10 yards. Point of aim was at #3

The first round in the bare gel exited the top of the block at the 7.5 inches mark. No velocity was recorded and the bullet core was not recovered. The fragmenting portion of the bullet started at about the 2.5-inch mark and stopped at about the 3.5-inch mark. The weight of the fragments was 10.1 grains. The second round’s velocity was 1786fps and the core penetrated to 16 inches. The fragmentation was 2 to 4 inches deep and the weight of the recovered fragments was 6.3 grains. The recovered weight of the core was 36.2 grains.





In the covered gel, the first round had a velocity of 1716fps and the core penetrated to 12.5 inches and weighed 36.2 grains. The bullet fragments 2.5 to 3 inches and had a recovered weight of 16.8 grains. The second round’s velocity was 1718fps and the bullet’s core penetrated to 11 inches and weighed in at 36.3 grains. The fragments went from 2 to 2.5 inches and weighed 10.5 grains.



The fragments from all loads spread from 2 to 3 inches from the main bullet path.
 

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Be careful with this ammo at the range with a metal backstop. I tried the 10mm 60 grain and the first round threw a fragment back that grazed my temple and drew blood.
 

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Pass...
 

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Call me a dinosaur if you wish but I will stay with the traditional 125-157 JHP/JSP.
 
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If a HP bullet fragments, isn't that considered a failure? Isn't optimum performance realized when the hollow point retains all of its weight (i.e., remains intact) while expanding/mushrooming to as large a diameter as possible, while driving through to a sufficient depth, even through clothes, maybe even through barriers? Isn't there a long, proven LE and SD history supporting the use of a 125 - 158 gr. JHP bullet typically used in a .357 Magnum cartridge?

What issue is this Liberty .357 Magnum 50 gr. Civil Defense ammo attempting to address? I don't understand ...

rx7sig
 

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This being Michigan in the winter time, I've got to wonder how this would do if it had to pass through a heavy coat and shirt first before it could start going through anything important. This one might be for skinnies in the Summer time
 

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Not too impressive. By my math it's only making 358 ft lbs of energy. Those of us carrying 2'' guns wouldn't even be making that.
 

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Why give up the significant benefits of 357Mag? At 1700-1800fps it gets 320-360 Ft/Lbs of energy and a relatively small wound channel. Standard ammo runs 500-600 Ft/lbs and Buffalo Bore is 750-800 ft/lbs. With more standard JHP you get more expansion, wider wound channel, better penetration, and more energy transfer. Heck 320-360 ft/lbs is in the low 9mm range.
 

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From Liberty:

Liberty Ammunition’s Civil Defense 10mm achieves approximately twice the velocity of standard 10mm ammunition, three times the terminal effect, 30% more energy transfer, and reductions in felt recoil while simultaneously reducing the weight of all loaded weapons. The 10mm is a fragmenting, copper monolithic, lead free hollow point.

Civil Defense 10mm Auto Specifications
Weight: 60 gr.
Velocity: 2,400 FPS
Kinetic Energy: 780 FPE
Accuracy: < 1” @ 25 Meters
Terminal Effect: 4 -1/2” W x 12” D
Rounds: 20 per box

The LGS gave me a box at their cost to try out. I shot one round and I was finished. A small fragment came back and grazed my right temple just above the ear muff and my eye glasses ear piece. It drew blood.
 
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The LGS gave me a box at their cost to try out. I shot one round and I was finished. A small fragment came back and grazed my right temple just above the ear muff and my eye glasses ear piece. It drew blood.
You should not have been using this to try it out with.
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358 ft pounds... if I want 38spl performance in my 357, I'll load it with 38spl.

Honestly I don't see the point of this ammo. What niche/hole is it filling other than to be 'new'?
 

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Wow, I am getting 309 ft lbs from my 380 load. Underwood JHP 90 grain +P in a 3.75" barrel.
Thanks for the testing though.
Maybe they can come out with a 4 grain 357 @ 5,000 FPS that just vaporizes from the air speed alone.
 

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If I want a low penetration .357, I will load a factory 110 gr JHP.
 

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From what I have read in FBI studies, the keys to a one stop shot are placement and penetration. A bullet that splits apart and penetrates 4" might eventually kill an attacker. However, IMO the goal is not to kill after the fact, but to stop the attack.
 

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I'm another one of those heavy for caliber guys.

These zippy little frag bullets don't appeal to me at all.
 
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